For its part, Discovery has found success with docuseries Killing Fields , which recently scored an order for six additional episodes. Rosenzweig is repped by Gersh and attorney Michael Schenkman. Entertainment Home. Follow Us. The Hollywood Reporter March 1, What to Read Next. The Wrap. Yahoo Movies. Yahoo Entertainment. Yahoo Celebrity. Yahoo TV. Inside Edition CBS. Entertainment Tonight. Needham sat mulling over a note he was planning to send into the jury, a water-testing ploy to learn if they were making progress, needed help, or were deadlocked.
His wife, Ursula, who had come to the courthouse every day since the jury went out, sat reading near his desk. A sheriff entered to discuss arrangements for convoying the jury from the courthouse after the verdict. In a far corner of the courthouse the jurors sat around a large table, two at each end and four down each side, thrashing over the six weeks of testimony.
While they had not yet taken a formal vote, they knew how each felt. No one pressured the hold-outs. An unspoken strategy had sprung up among the eight who were convinced of his guilt; they feared that any attempt to lean on the others might drive them into a vote for acquittal. One of the four undecided jurors, a woman, spoke of her sleepless struggle with the evidence the previous night. With mounting emotion she said that she could no longer doubt his guilt.
The other eleven jurors knew what the woman was suffering. Two of the other jurors cried as well. She replied cheerfully, He has the most beautiful eyes! From her table at the far end of the vast room, New York Daily News reporter Theo Wilson, who had covered every major American trial of the past quarter century, from Dr. Harris, looked around the room and told a kibitzer that she had never seen a trial receive so much press coverage. At the Providence Journal table, the four reporters who had worked on the trial since its beginning sat playing a variation of Scrabble they had invented and named Von Scrabble: every word formed had to relate to the case.
Someone had laid down the word Valium ; the next player was persuading the others that the word money he was hanging from the m of Valium was not too general and was certainly central to this case.
In bars along Thames Street and out on the recently fashioned tourist wharves, the mood was pro-Claus. When someone said that all of Newport was convinced he was guilty, a young woman only recently returned from an unsuccessful European marriage said, What about the Pells and the Winslows? I understand they think Claus is innocent. The neighboring Astors and Vanderbilts felt no need for such obsessive and expensive privacy, which seems to have been created in anticipation of the kind of public scrutiny now focused on this house. Down Bellevue Avenue a few hundred yards, Prince Alexander von Auersperg headed his blue Fiat Spider convertible though the gates of the exquisitely manicured estate of his grandmother, Annie Laurie Aitken, and drove the fifty minutes it takes to reach his apartment over a clothing store on the edge of the Brown University campus in Providence where he was an undergraduate.
He was only in the apartment a few minutes when the phone rang. It was his sister Ala calling from Bermuda, where she had flown with her husband to shed a bad cold. No word yet, Alexander told her; he would phone as soon as he heard. Ala asked if anyone knew where she was; she was concerned that reporters could make her flying off to Bermuda sound extravagant and callous.
Maria wrote of her role in bringing the authorities down on the man she was convinced had twice tried to murder her mistress. A few blocks north on Fifth Avenue, across from the Metropolitan Museum, Annie Laurie Aitken, a handsome woman in her eighties, sat chatting with a friend in her vast apartment, which a prominent decorator had called the most beautiful in the city. Housebound because of bad health, she had not testified at the trial or attended it—indeed, her friends wondered if she would live through it. Instead she followed the courtroom action on videotapes Richard Kuh obtained for her.
She had been talking to her visitor about her only child. You know, she said, I think Claus has tried putting all his failings on Sunny. He claims she was bored and depressed. The truth is she had many enthusiasms—her children, her homes, reading, travel, flowers, exercise. He never … She stopped herself. You can imagine.
She looked out the window at the gray sky, then said, This never should have happened to Sunny. Curled in the fetal position, her skin was waxy and livid, the once blond hair now completely gray. Despite the movement, a nurse sitting in the room rose to turn the patient as she did every two hours to prevent the formation of pressure sores. Later that day the nurse would give her a sponge bath, paying particular attention to the areas around the tube implanted in the throat, as well as the waste-removing catheter and the feeding tube in the mouth; all are prone to infection.
As the nurse rearranged the bedding and smoothed back Mrs.
The noted lawyer’s long, controversial career—and the accusations against him.
This was unlikely; doctors believed her to be blind. On a table next to her bed sat a vase of roses—Morris Gurley, Mrs. Next to the flowers three framed photographs faced the bed. The third picture was of Mrs. Outside the door to the room a guard sat reading a newspaper. Since a reporter slipped into the room and wrote about it two months earlier, the family had paid for round-the-clock guards in addition to full-time private nurses and daily visits from the family doctor.
The cost for the room and all this attention was over a half million dollars a year.
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Doctors believe Mrs. There is no reason to think she can smell the flowers or see the photograph of her husband or know that he is being prosecuted for attempting to murder her. Neither will she know that in three more days the twelve jurors will find him guilty of putting her into this irreversible state—the passage from life to death which for most people is a few moments, but for Sunny had already lasted two years and could last many more.
Little was known about the fortune except that it was worth struggling over. Newspapers reported that Sunny was the only child of a utilities magnate named George Crawford, who spent most of his adult life around Pittsburgh.
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He was born in in Emlenton, Pennsylvania, where he went to public school, then took a business course at the Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York. At the age of nineteen he went to work in the western Pennsylvania gas fields. Basically, the vast wealth that Crawford accumulated over his lifetime came from the ground. He was adept at every phase of the burgeoning gas business—from exploration and the most elementary operations to the future corporate complexities of the amalgamating independents. In addition to the corporation-building that was central to his life, Crawford also speculated with success in oil and gas exploration—first in Illinois, moving west to the Oklahoma Territory, then on to Texas, where in he joined a group to form the Lone Star Gas Company, for which he served as board chairman until his death.
He was also involved in pioneer oil operations in Mexico and Colombia. Crawford did not marry until he was sixty-six years old. His choice was an extremely pretty, vivacious twenty-eight-year-old, Annie Laurie Warmack, whose father, Robert Warmack, had been a wealthy St.
Louis shoe manufacturer. Louis and took her, Henry James style, to Europe and places of fashion in America. On these travels, Annie Laurie noticed that the pleasant bachelor from Pittsburgh was turning up with remarkable frequency at places she and her mother were visiting. When the Warmack women, in order to visit Cairo, left a Mediterranean cruise Crawford happened to be on, he appeared there too. Annie Laurie found him attentive and considerate in a way her contemporary suitors were not, but was nonetheless stunned when he asked her to marry him.
She had not thought of him that way. He asked her to try thinking of him that way. She agreed to that effort. He followed her to Paris and inquired if she had reached a decision. As he had never been away from her for an instant since making his suggestion, she had had no opportunity to make this test. He returned to the States alone, but was waiting on the dock for her when she arrived. The experiment worked and they were married at White Sulphur Springs in Signals indicated that the baby might not wait the full nine months, so Crawford, then seventy-one, rushed his wife onto a train to have delivery under the care of New York doctors.
Their only daughter, whom they named Martha and who would later be nicknamed Sunny, was born in a Pullman car in Manassas, Virginia, with a porter acting as midwife. Annie Laurie and her mother remained close, but with the death of Mr. Warmack in the early thirties, Mrs. Warmack moved to New York City, where she had friends and where her daughter and son-in-law came almost monthly on business trips.
When George Crawford died in , he left Annie Laurie an enormous fortune along with feelings of guilt that, by her marrying a much older man, she had left her four-year-old daughter fatherless. Annie Laurie resolved to make it up to Sunny as best she could, which may explain a protectiveness that went beyond the normal maternal concern. Having no real ties to Pittsburgh, Annie Laurie took her infant daughter and moved east, buying an impressive estate, Tamerlane, in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Mother, child, and grandmother spent summers together in Connecticut, then moved into Mrs. The two older women had strong personalities as well as brains, looks, and vast wealth. They were at once perfectionists and women with warm, loving natures—a personality mix that resulted in a concentration of energies on the pretty blond child. They lavished attention on her, exacting the same flawless deportment that a court chamberlain would demand from an heir apparent. Sunny was pleasant and friendly as always, but seemed of another species as she stepped into the waiting Rolls-Royce.
Later on, a Chapin classmate would tell a similar story of being in Paris in , returning hot and steamy from a Versailles expedition and spotting Sunny on a corner of the Faubourg St. While other young Americans in Bermuda shorts or jeans swarmed the intersection, Sunny in a couturier white-linen dress and hat looked stunning but so much in contrast with the scene that the friend avoided greeting her. One summer Annie Laurie took Sunny on an exhaustive tour of Italy, missing very few towns of any historic importance. Afterwards she asked Sunny what part she had liked best, expecting her to name Rome or Venice.
Why Assisi? Annie Laurie asked, remembering only having stood for two fruitless hours watching a statue of the Virgin, who was said to smile from time to time. The shyness that would always afflict Sunny appeared early. But the strong negative recollection of the classmate suggests that Sunny suffered an emotional stunting that made her appear, to casual acquaintances, less than bright.
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Even as a child, she seemed distracted, as though her mind were somewhere else. When she developed into a beautiful young woman, this quality took on for some a kind of unearthliness; people felt that the lovely apparition was hearing different music from that heard by ordinary mortals. Like many others blessed with looks, Sunny did not feel as enthusiastic about hers as other people did. From a young age Sunny, aware of how much better off she was than most of her friends, was extremely generous.
She deliberately bought more clothes than she wanted in order to have items to give to friends whose wardrobes needed bolstering. For one friend of a different size, Sunny went so far as to buy clothes too big for her but right for her friend.
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Annie Laurie and Mrs. The family chauffeur—a handsome, middle-aged Italian named Jimmy—was unofficial bodyguard to Sunny, his protective duties as important as his transportational ones. A much-loved governess, Nanna, stayed with Sunny until she married. It was not as though the older women forbade Sunny any good times.
There were parties at Fifth Avenue, Monday nights at the Metropolitan Opera—when Annie Laurie would turn her box over to Sunny and her friends—and summer swimming parties in Connecticut. But the older women, who loved the company of young people, were usually present at these events. Despite her shyness, Sunny had a number of good friends. Ruth Dunbar, a Swift meat-packing heiress, who also lived at Fifth Avenue, often played with Sunny in Central Park under the vigilance of Nanna and remained a lifelong friend. When Sunny left Chapin to finish her secondary education at St.
Of all the rich girls who became known to East Coast society in the early s, Sunny and Peggy were generally acknowledged to be the most blessed. The similarity of their youth intensifies the irony of their fates. She went through most of her money making a name for herself as a hostess and was killed in an automobile accident returning from a party near her home in France in